Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shanghai to Atlanta (Sat)

I had most of a morning to kill before heading to the Pudong airport for my flight back to Atlanta (hooray for Delta's direct flight!). So I just wandered around the neighborhood near SJTU.

Dude selling fresh steamed buns.

This bun was *so* good. ^_^ (and only costs 1RMB = 14 cents)

More street-side food stalls/shops.

I couldn't entirely figure this one out. I think you just point at whatever you want, they boil it in some soup, possibly with some noodles, and there you go.

Fresh yo/ tiao. I was running out of small bills at this point, and didn't want to force one of these street stall guys to have to break a 100RMB bill, so I didn't get any.

Fresh made cong yo/ bing~ (scallion pancakes). It took a good 10-15 minutes of waiting for them to make them. I watched it go from raw dough to finished product, and there was a long line by the time it was ready.

Finished product. Also amazingly good. Also 14 cents. Totally worth the wait.

I found a little market. Incredibly crowded.

Vegetable lady.

Meat aisle.

I got one more bun. This one was similar to the original one, but instead of steamed bread on the outside, it was made out of rice. Also very tasty.

Funny shop name in the Shanghai/Pudong airport. Someone needs to file an anti-trust suit against them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shanghai (Fri)

We finally got to the Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) "Faculty Club", which is their hotel for visitors, at about 2am. Suck.

Cool/weird bronze piece in the lobby. It's a urn with eight dragons, and eight little frogs with their mouths wide open ready to accept something from the dragons (like feeding baby birds?).

Neat model of the Minhang campus of SJTU. This place is *huge*.

Fancy room where they showed us a brief video on the history of SJTU.

Offices where the GT/SJTU ECE MS program are run out of.

After a good visit to SJTU, we were dropped back off at the hotel. And it was pouring. We hiked to some mall nearby to meet up with my cousin Lester, but we just got straight-out soaked (even with umbrellas).

We went to an all-you-can-eat sushi/hot-pot place.

Lester and I ate them out of uni... or at least they claimed to be out of it as we ate enough of this to more or less cover the cost of dinner.

Tuna and salmon.

"Kobe" beef and kimchi.

The hotpot... convenient for hiding unwanted food; since this is an all-you-can-eat place, you have to pay extra for any food that you order that you don't finish (that they don't find before handing you the bill...). Lester is a pro.

More sashimi, shrimp and uni. Oh yeah, it's also an all-you-can-drink place as well, so we went through plenty of beer and sake.

Some sort of grilled fish.

And then of course, it was off for foot massages.

The pre-foot-massage massage.

Nate enjoying himself. They gave us these pajama-type pants to wear, which were more comfortable than our still sort-of damp clothes.

Continuation of above picture.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beijing to Shanghai (Thu)

Conference over. Nate and I have a morning to kill before heading over to Tsinghua University, and then later to the airport.

Not really that pretty.

But in the basement, we find a hot-pot counter. Sweet.

And we ordered too much food, and it cost next to nothing anyway.

Coffee break. I just thought it was interesting that they used coffee grinds in the ash tray.

Weird sculpture on the Tsinghua campus.

This building is supposed to have some significance, but I forgot what it is. I think it's just one of the old buildings on campus, but there were a lot of people taking pictures of/with it.

Off to the Beijing airport, where some thunderstorms end up canceling our flight. We had to go through multiple rebookings before we got it all settled. Didn't depart until well after 11pm (we were supposed to get to Shanghai by about 10pm).

Noodles in the Beijing airport while killing time.

Fried chicken bits. (Same place.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beijing (Wed)

I had one of the last two talks of the conference today (there were two such talks due to parallel sessions). Normally, there are not that many folks left at this point because a lot of people only attend one or two days of the conference, or have flights on the last day and have to head out early. I actually had good attendance at my talk, largely due to the fact that people were hanging around for the trip to the great wall...

I had not been to this section of the Great Wall (I forget the name, but it was about a 90-minute bus ride from the Hotel). Had to hike up a bunch of stairs just to get to the wall (or take a gondola, but that's no fun!). This was similar to parts of the Incan Trail, but you don't have to do it at altitude which makes it a *lot* easier.

Old worn-out ramp.

It was cloudy/foggy that day, so the pictures aren't as nice as they could have been. I ran up this stretch in one go and was seriously wheezing by the time I got to the top.

End of this section of the wall.

Donkey at the side of the wall (I'm on the wall looking down). We assumed that this belonged to one of the ladies selling water and other souvenirs/trinkets.

For dinner, we had a huge group head out to a Szechaun restaurant. We had three full tables worth of people crammed into a little private side room.

The restaurant.

Suan Mei/ Cha/ (sour plum drink).

Fatty pork (was very popular, so we ended up ordering a second one).

Duck gizzards.

Pickled veggies.

Gelatinized tendon.

Bai/ jio~ (Chinese rice wine... 52% alcohol/104 proof). Strong stuff.

Prawns in Chinese glass noodles (fen~ si).

Ko~ shui~ ji (literally, drool chicken... in that it's so good just seeing it will make you drool. Probably a bit of an exaggeration).

Catfish in oil. The Szechaun peppercorns are supposed to make your lips numb, but this was very weak. Somewhat disappointing.

Spicy diced chicken and peanuts.